14 super benefits of eating sprouts
Yes, yes, yes. With a name like Sydney Sprouts, you won’t be at all surprised to know we’re huge fans of sprouting. But rather than simply taking our word for it with general comments about how ‘nutritious’, ‘delicious’ and ‘good for you’ sprouts are, we thought it was time to get a bit more specific.
In search of the fabulous facts about our beloved sprouts, we’ve been researching high and low in recent weeks. In no particular order, here are 14 science-based reasons why growing and eating your own fresh sprouts at home really can be very, very good for you.
As you’ll see, from the health of your hair, skin and blood to your digestive system, weight control and even eye-sight, there are few parts of the human body that humble sprouts can’t help. Let us know which of these matter most to you!
1. Digestion boosters
According to some expert estimates, sprouts contain up to 100 times more living enzymes than uncooked fruits and vegetables. That’s a big deal, because enzymes are fantastic at boosting the body’s metabolism and other important chemical reactions related to digestion. Enzymes help to break down our food more effectively and also enhance our absorption of nutrients. Sprouts are also packed with dietary fibre which makes life easier for our digestive tracts!
2. Ex-cell-ent for blood circulation
Fresh sprouts contain significant amounts of iron and copper. This is helpful in maintaining a healthy red blood cell (RBC) count which, in turn, ensures good blood circulation and an optimal supply of oxygen to our vital organs. Chickpeas and lentils are especially good choices when it comes to boosting your RBC.
3. Improved immunity
High levels of Vitamin C and A are another great reason to love sprouts. Vitamin C is important in stimulating white blood cells – a critical defence in fighting off infections and diseases. Vitamin A is packed with antioxidant properties, making it another great immunity booster.
4. A sight for sore eyes
It isn’t just immunity. The Vitamin A levels in sprouts can also contribute to better eye health and vision. In particular, the associated antioxidants help to protect the cells of our eyes from free radicals with can lead to common eye diseases including age-related macular degeneration.
5. Heart smart
Sprouts contain plenty of omega-3 fatty acids which are known to help in boosting levels of good cholesterol (HDL) while also reducing the harmful cholesterol in our blood vessels and arteries. Omega-3 fatty acids also have anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce stress on the cardiovascular system. Continuing with matters of the heart, the potassium in sprouts can even help reduce blood pressure.
6. Control acid levels
Unlike most grains, seeds, legumes and nuts, sprouts have a naturally alkalising effect on the body. In other words, they can be super helpful in regulating pH levels and reducing the acids from other food we eat. Why is that important? Well, many illnesses – including cancer – have been linked with excess acidity in the body.
7. Anti-ageing antioxidants
With their abundance of antioxidants, sprouts are believed to help prevent the cell-damaging free radicals and DNA breakdown that often leads to premature ageing. The Vitamin C in sprouts naturally promotes the production of collagen for clearer skin with more youthful elasticity. If that isn’t enough, sprouts also contain silica, a nutrient that regenerates the skin’s connective tissues and helps to remove toxins.
8. Weight loss wonders
While they’re high in nutrients, sprouts are very low in calories – so you can enjoy them without having to worry about your waistline. Even better, their fibre content helps you feel fuller for longer. (Getting really technical, sprouts can also moderate the release of a hormone called ghrelin which gives hunger signals to the brain!)
9. Hair repair
Vitamin A deficiencies are known to cause thinning hair, dry scalp and excessive hair loss for many people. With their high Vitamin A content, including sprouts in your daily diet may help to naturally stimulate hair follicles and encourage thicker, longer hair. By promoting a healthier blood supply (see Point 2), sprouts can also help to generate new blood vessels and increase circulation to the scalp and follicles.
10. Keeping skin and scalp hydrated
Zinc is another nutrient typically found in sprouts that can help with your skin, and especially your scalp. Zinc stimulates the production of a substance called sebum which helps to keep hair roots and strands hydrated and nourished, while also encouraging regeneration of scalp cells.
11. Super selenium
While our bodies don’t need a lot of selenium, it’s an essential mineral that plays a key role in things like metabolism and thyroid function. The selenium naturally found in sprouts is even known to have anti-fungal properties that can help with the treatment of dandruff and other scalp problems.
12. Better hair with biotin
Sticking with the hair theme, sprouts also contain a B-complex vitamin called biotin. It’s known to be an important contributor to longer and thicker hair, while the reverse is also true – biotin deficiencies can lead to brittle and damaged hair. (Biotin can also help to promote healthier nails and skin.)
13. Delay the grey
With their potent combination of active antioxidants, adding sprouts to your daily diet may help to prevent – or at least delay – the tissue oxidation and corrosion that causes hair to age and grey prematurely.
14. Fewer pimples and acne
As we discussed in Point 5, the high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in sprouts are good news for your heart. But they can help to reduce inflammation in other parts of the body too, reducing the effects of conditions like acne and other skin problems.
As you can see, we could go on and on about the health benefits of featuring sprouts in your daily diet. If you’d like to know more, Google is your friend ;-)